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Fields moves offense efficiently, defense solid as Bears win first preseason game 23-17 over Titans

Justin Fields threw touchdown passes to prized newcomer DJ Moore and Khalil Herbert on Chicago’s first two possessions, then watched as the Bears beat the Tennessee Titans 23-17 in the teams’ preseason opener Saturday.

The Bears envisioned big plays in the passing game when they acquired Moore in a blockbuster trade with the Carolina Panthers. They got one from their new receiver, though it didn’t happen on a long throw.

Moore and Herbert turned short passes into sprints to the end zone against a second-string defense after Tennessee’s Malik Willis led the Titans on a 75-yard touchdown drive to start the game.

A third-round pick last year, Willis hit a wide-open Chris Moore in the middle for a 30-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and scored from the 2 with Chicago using mostly reserves.

DJ Moore caught a screen from Fields and went 62 yards untouched along the left side. Not a bad way to introduce himself to the Soldier Field crowd, after the Bears acquired him from Carolina for the top pick in the draft.

On Chicago’s second drive, Fields rolled to his left to avoid the blitz and found a wide-open Herbert, who was barely touched on a 56-yard TD that gave the Bears a 14-7 lead.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Fields completed all three of his passes for 129 yards. He finished with a 158.3 rating and did not run the ball before P.J. Walker took over. The Bears are counting on the former Ohio State star to show he can be the passer they need him to be in his third year after he ran for 1,143 yards and just missed the NFL’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback.

Walker was 4 of 8 for 19 yards and an interception. Nathan Peterman started the second half and was 4 of 6 for 58 yards.

Bears rookie Zacch Pickens had a sack.

The Titans had Terrell Williams acting as head coach after Mike Vrabel handed those duties to his assistant for a 48-hour period starting Thursday. Williams, who is Black, hopes to become a head coach. And Vrabel wanted to give him some experience.

Willis completed 16 of 25 passes for 189 yards with Ryan Tannehill not playing. He had the Titans on the Chicago 10 near the end of the game, but the Bears’ Barrington Wade broke up his fourth-down pass to Gavin Holmes in the back of the end zone.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Willis was also intercepted at the goal line by A.J. Thomas, who picked off a pass that deflected off leaping tight end Josh Whyle’s hands, after Chicago’s Velus Jones Jr. muffed a punt to start the second quarter on the previous play.

Second-round pick Will Levis threw for 85 yards, going 9 of 14 and was intercepted in the final minute.

Rookie Tyjae Spears ran for 32 yards on six attempts, and Julius Chestnut finished with 46 yards rushing. Hassan Haskins scored from the 1 in the second quarter. Tre Avery intercepted Walker.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

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